Today Mr Miliband, the Shadow Business Secretary and Doncaster North MP, will make a policy speech in which he will challenge Boris Johnson to “get off the sun lounger and start being a statesman”.
This political knockabout contrasts with Ms Flint who previously represented the neighbouring seat of Don Valley and is now endorsing calls by the Onward think-tank to create a new national energy laboratory.
It is also an appreciation – and acknowledgement – that the current crisis over heating bills, and which is so exercising the Government, requires far more longer-term policy action and strategic thinking.
After all, the current supply difficulties have been decades in the making and, as a former Energy Secretary in the last Labour administration, Mr Miliband would be advised to play a more constructive part in the current debate.
As today’s report by Onward says, two of the most carbon and energy intensive sectors – transport and construction – spent less than 0.1 per cent of annual turnover on R&D last year despite ‘net zero’ being enshrined in law ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit
It goes on to warn that if the uptake of heat pumps continues on its current trajectory, national rollout will not be complete until 2187 – nearly a century and a half too late.
With former North Yorkshire MP Anne McIntosh also speaking out, both candidly and constructively, on the specific energy needs of rural residents, and the challenges that they will face this winter as a direct result of rapidly rising bills, this is another area of policy where Britain needs to be harnessing all the expertise – and wisdom – at its disposal rather than the cheap politics being espoused by Mr Miliband.
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